Turning on a coin of insignificant denomination
Yesterday morning, the wife and I decided to go for a hike in a local nature preserve, as it was 70 degrees in December, and that’s the kind of thing you do on a 70-degree morning.
Today, I was scraping snow off my car for the first time in at least a couple of years. OK, to be honest, I was brushing snow off the car — it was chilly this morning, but not enough to turn the snow into annoying little ice crystals that cling to your car for dear life. I don’t like the cold, so I didn’t take a picture of that, but it was the least impressive snowfall you could imagine — the smallest dusting of white, just enough so you were sure it wasn’t frost.
Despite what the last two paragraphs might indicate, though, this isn’t a blog about the weather on the north end of the DFW metroplex. It’s about change, and how it can happen quicker than anyone expects. Today, you might be writing Twilight fan ficton on the web — but tomorrow, middle-aged women might be boldly asking the folks at their local Target where they can get your BDSM novels.
Today what you’re writing might seem like something that can never be popular. But you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
It’s one of the reasons I just kind of write what I feel like writing rather than trying to chase trends. Say I decided to write a vampire romance novel while those were still popular — a million things could happen between today, when I decide to write the popular thing, and tomorrow, when I put it out into the world. The bottom might fall out of the vampires-in-love market, and everything vampire might go back to 30 Days of Night style (one of the coolest representations of vampires ever, in my opinion). Vampire Dating Fantasy might still be huge, but my contribution to it might not be accepted at all (though I doubt that, because my vampire romance would feature dinosaurs, yo).
Anything could happen tomorrow, and I don’t read tea leaves or cast bones. I don’t know what’s going to be popular next, and not knowing has made me really not so much care what’s going to be popular next. I’ll just write what I feel like writing. Maybe it’ll hit, maybe it won’t… but I will have told the story I wanted to tell, and that’s what makes the whole thing fun.
So write what you want to write today. Draw what you want to draw. Tell the story you want to tell, and make the art you want to make. Who knows? Tomorrow, it could be the next big thing.
And speaking of popularity, which genre do you think is due for a resurgence? Which do you wish would just go away already?